Crews spend busy weekend extinguishing brush fires - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Crews spend busy weekend extinguishing brush fires

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Crews put out a brush fire that threatened a neighbor's property. Crews put out a brush fire that threatened a neighbor's property.

North Alabama firefighters spent the weekend battling brush fires. Crews blame strong winds as people head out to enjoy the nice weather; the combination turning into call after call of out-of-control fires.

Several volunteer firefighters had to put out a small brush fire in South Madison County as it burned dangerously close to several homes Sunday. Homeowner Gail Yarbrough said she thought she took enough precautions when she cleared all the underbrush from the area before starting what began as a small fire.

"I was trying to burn a small section of vine that I thought was poison ivy... It's gone, along with a lot of other things," she said.

Within minutes the fire got out of control and jumped to neighbor Lisa Elias' yard, where a child's birthday party was in progress. Firefighters spent nearly an hour trying to put out the hotspots. They estimate the fire burned more than a quarter acre before crews got control of it.

Elias said the quickly spreading smoke began to scare the children.

"Our granddaughter is nine and we've got seven grandkids; the smoke started coming along, and they started getting scared. They all went in the house and I'm like ‘Wait a minute, everything is on fire.' You can see from our yard it started spreading pretty quickly," Elias said.

Sunday's fire is added to a long list of brush fires crews have had to put out this weekend. They said they are happening in both suburban and rural areas.

Fire officials said people may not realize that the grass and vegetation is rather dry, and moderate to high winds can easily make those fires spread.

Fire crews ask people to use common sense if they are going to burn. The Big Cove Volunteer Fire Department offered these reminders:

  • Never leave a fire source unattended
  • Have a way to contain a fire source
  • Pay attention to weather conditions
  • Have a water source immediately available

In all, Sunday's fire burned about a quarter of an acre, but threatened several homes. Firefighters said a single large gust of wind could have caused much more damage.

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